Fight Against Corruption in Armenia

The fight against corruption in 2016 was held in various directions. Legal acts have been developed in the legislative sphere, and the first in this chain and the one that was adopted was the Draft on Criminalization of Illicit Enrichment. In addition, a number of other proposals are still being discussed, among them creation of Independent Anti-Corruption Body and others.

In 2016, the National Security Service of Armenia (NSS) made 5 major arrests related to the corruption cases. Judge Khachatur Khachatryan who was charged in taking a bribe of 20 thousand USD was sentenced to imprisonment.

What was special about 2016 and what has been implemented during this period? presents to your attention the summary of 2016 through timeline.

Military Draft without Bribes

The Ministry of Defense tried to reduce the corruption risks with the beginning of the military draft through launching the principle of draw for the selection of the location of service.

Bribery in Football

A bribery case by the participants and organizers of professional competitions has been disclosed as a result of operative and investigative activities carried out by the RA NSS. In November 2015, Gagik Simonyan, the chief coach of the “Ulysses Yerevan” Armenian football club, footballer (defender) Hayk Hunanyan, together with “Ulysses 2” club administrator Ara Azaryan and coach assistant Ruben Arushanyan with the help of “Toto” bookmaker office employee made a betting of 1000-3000 USD and through providing predictable results, obtained illegal profit which was distributed to the relevant portions of the above-mentioned people and individual players.

Corruption in Social Benefits System

The Government stated that they had recorded corruption issues in the social benefits system

Corruption Perception Index 2015 was published

According to the index Armenia was ranked 95th, in 2015 Armenia was ranked 94th. In 2015 Armenia had scored 35, in 2014 – 37, in 2013 – 36 and in 2012 -34.

The Government signed a Contract with USAID

The Contract referred to the implementation of the Anti-Corruption Strategy. The total project cost is USD 806,390.

The Sports and Concerts Complex was taken from the Ministry of Defense

The Government session canceled the decision on passing “Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concert Complex” SNCO to the RA Ministry of Defense. The sale of the complex turned into a corruption scandal.

Protection against Corruption։ Serzh Sargsyan

At the meeting with the representatives of legislative, judicial and law enforcement bodies, the President stated that democracy needs to be protected, and first of all, protection from corruption.

The Judiciary in Armenia appears to be prone to Corruption

In the new report, the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) noted that corruption remains an important problem for Armenian society.

International experience on Illicit Enrichment shall be studied

The working group which was established as a result of joint activities of the RA Ministry of Justice and the Armenian Lawyers’ Association began to study the international experience on criminalization of illicit enrichment.

Theft from the EU Grant

The General Department of Particularly Important Cases of the RA Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case against 3 individuals who have been arrested, on the suspicion of theft of especially large amount of money from the grant funds provided by the European Union Delegation in Armenia.

Grants to NGOs

President of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association Mr. Karen Zadoyan signed grant agreements with the Presidents of 5 NGOs that won in the Small Grants Competition announced in the scope of the “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project.

Anti-Corruption Conference

Number one problem for our country today is to eliminate impunity. Mr. Karen Zadoyan the President of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association, the Coordinator of the Secretariat of the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition said at the “Government – Civil Society Anti-Corruption Conference”.

Mihran Poghosyan resigned

Chief Compulsory Enforcement Officer of the Republic of Armenia Mihran Poghosyan submitted a resignation letter after his name appeared in the publications on the materials of Panama offshore: “I regret…” were his last words before resignation.

Businesses began to speak about corruption

The working meeting “Corruption Risks in the Business Sector of Armenia: Recorded Problems and Upcoming Activities” was launched

We are Armenia’s Friend and Partner

“EU is the biggest donor in Armenia. Every year we spend about 50 million, as the EU,” Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador H.E. Dr. Piotr Switalski said at the Europe Day Information Fair

Criminalization of Illicit Enrichment

At the regular meeting of the Anti-Corruption Council, Mr. Karen Zadoyan, the President of Armenian Lawyers’ Association presented proposals regarding the advisability on criminalization of illicit enrichment.

Real Owners and Offshores

At the Anti-Corruption Council Mr. Karen Zadoyan spoke about the issue of introduction of the institute of the real owners in the sphere of the public procurements and limitation of participation in the public procurements processes from the offshore zones. The Government has developed a corresponding package.

Corruption in the Procurement Sector

Corruption causes big losses to the state budget, especially if it is the procurement sector. Anti-Corruption event was held in Kapan. Mr. Karen Zadoyan the President of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association, the Coordinator of the Secretariat of the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition believes that the war changed many things; the war showed that corruption has the color of blood.

The Judge was sentenced to Imprisonment for Bribery

The First Instance Court sentenced the Judge indicted for taking $20,000 bribe to imprisonment for the term of 8 years.

Discussions on the Independent Anti-Corruption Body

The first meeting of Public Council at the Ministry of Justice discussed the issues on the creation of an independent anti-corruption body, criminalization of illicit enrichment and identification of real owners in sphere of public procurement and introduction of the institute of identification of real owners in the public procurement system. Representatives of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association participated in the meeting as well.

Grants to NGOs

ALA provided grants to the winning CSOs of the Fourth Round of the Small Grants Competition in the scope of the “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” project.

The Judge was arrested for receiving Bribe

Ishkhan Barsegyan, the Judge of the Court of General Jurisdiction of Shengavit Community was arrested while taking the alleged bribe. Advocate Eliza Zakaryan was arrested for assisting him.

Corruption Risks in Business Sector were summarized

The final working meeting “Corruption Risks in the Business Sector of Armenia” was held with financial support of the EU and OSCE.

Are for

President of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association (ALA), Coordinator of the Secretariat of the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition Karen Zadoyan said at the expanded working meeting of the Government-Civil Society Anti-Corruption Working Group, “We have to apply a three-dimensional approach. We have to create a body from the scratch based on the criteria, which ensured success for the international community.”

Anti-Corruption Practice of Lithuania

Saulius Urbanavičius, the Head of Lithuania’s STT believes that the universal independent anti-corruption body, which performs three main functions: corruption investigation, corruption prevention and anti-corruption investigation, is the best method to combat corruption.

NSS arrested the employee of Municipality

A.A., the Head of Urban Development and Land Control Department of the Municipality of Yerevan was arrested on suspicion of bribery.

Anti-Corruption Conference and Awards Ceremony

An awards ceremony and discussion were held on the International Anti-Corruption Day.

Corruption in MSEA Sphere

Armen Soghoyan, the Head of the Agency of Medical and Sociological Expertise and Arman Petrosyan, the Head of department of Re-expertise of the Agency were arrested on suspicion of bribery.

Composition of the Anti-Corruption Council changed

The Government approved the proposals of the Armenian Lawyers’ Association and CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition.

Illicit Enrichment will be criminalized

The RA President Serzh Sargsyan signed that package on Criminalization of Illicit Enrichment, which was approved by the RA NA. Illicit Enrichment will be criminalized from 1 July 2017.